What to Watch For On Opening Day
One of the most exciting days in Boston sports is upon us. It’s Opening Day at Fenway Park. The Boston Red Sox will face the Pittsburgh Pirates in an interleague matchup. There are a few things to watch as another season of Red Sox baseball has arrived.
Pablo Sandoval’s First Start in Two Years
Third baseman Pablo Sandoval will take the field for the Red Sox for the first time in nearly two years with much to prove. Sandoval got himself into tremendous shape and is half the man he used to be. With his productivity decreasing with each passing year, Sandoval is looking to get off to a hot start and earn that hefty contract the Sox paid him in 2014.
The Middle of the Lineup
The Red Sox suffered a devastating loss with the retirement of David Ortiz leaving a massive hole to fill. With Hanley Ramirez taking over as he DH, it is up to Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley, Jr to pick up the slack. Bogaerts proved to be inconsistent at the plate last year, and Bradley struggled in the second half seeing his average drop to .267. They need to be productive hitters for the entire season in order for the Red Sox to live up to the pre-season hype.
The Starting Rotation
Rick Porcello was a beast on the mound in 2016. He won the Cy Young award and AL Comeback Player of the Year after leading the league in wins. Porcello needs to match his effort from a year ago and then get some help. Newly acquired lefty Chris Sale is a huge addition, but the rest of the rotation is a question mark. David Price and Drew Pomeranz will both start the the season on the DL. Eduardo Rodriguez and knuckleballer Steven Wright will round out the rotation for now.